Populism

Populist politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are plundering history for persuasive purposes

Populist politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are plundering history for persuasive purposes

From Brexiters citing Ancient Greek legend to Donald Trump rewriting the details of the Normandy landings, Philip Seargeant writes that contemporary politicians are constantly co-opting history for their own ends. Though they pay lip service to the idea of learning from the past, he argues that these populist leaders have little real interest in engaging with the complexities of the challenges their societies face.

How populist radical right parties have eroded the EU’s human rights agenda in the Mediterranean

How populist radical right parties have eroded the EU’s human rights agenda in the Mediterranean

It is often assumed that populist radical right parties will support disengaging from the European Union by default. Adrià Rivera Escartin writes that although many of these parties do support disengaging from the EU, there is the potential for a different approach to be adopted in future which might be termed ‘informal and illiberal Europeanisation’. Italy’s capacity to shape EU relations with Tunisia and Hungary’s efforts to influence the EU’s relations with Egypt offer two recent examples of how this trend might materialise.

Book Review | The Far Right Today by Cas Mudde

Book Review | The Far Right Today by Cas Mudde

In The Far Right Today, Cas Mudde provides readers with a comprehensive overview of contemporary far right politics: a pressing task considering that groups or parties once located on the fringe of mainstream politics have experienced a surge in popularity over recent years across Europe and beyond. The most worrying aspect of this surge, argues the author, is the mainstreaming and normalisation of the far right. This is an excellent, accessible and timely book that effectively challenges conventional thinking on the topic, writes Katherine Williams.

Is the resurgence of Europe’s far-right a cultural or an economic phenomenon?

Is the resurgence of Europe’s far-right a cultural or an economic phenomenon?

There has been a spectacular rise in support for far-right parties in Europe over the last two decades, but what has driven this electoral success? Drawing on new research, Vasiliki Georgiadou, Lamprini Rori and Costas Roumanias demonstrate that different types of far-right party have benefitted from different factors: economic insecurity has helped increase support for ‘extremist right’ parties, while cultural factors have been associated with the growth of the ‘populist radical right’.

Why the radical right is no longer the exclusive domain of older, male voters

Why the radical right is no longer the exclusive domain of older, male voters

The typical radical right voter is often assumed to be older and male, with conservative views on women’s and LGBT rights. Drawing on a new study, Caroline Marie Lancaster writes that this assumption should now be reassessed. She finds evidence that there has been a particularly striking increase in the number of radical right voters who also support gender equality and LGBT rights.

Do populist-leaning citizens support direct democracy?

Do populist-leaning citizens support direct democracy?

Populist parties across Europe often support direct democracy, for example through frequent referendums. Do their voters support these initiatives too and why? Tina Freyburg, Robert Huber and Steffen Mohrenberg distinguish between citizens who support direct democracy as a way of giving power to ‘the people’ and those, known as stealth democrats, who do so out of a scepticism that politicians can be effective. They find that both sets of attitudes independently are associated with support for direct democracy, and argue that the distinction is crucial to furthering the debate about populism in Europe.

The Democracy in Europe Movement (DiEM25) and the limitations of transnational populism

The Democracy in Europe Movement (DiEM25) and the limitations of transnational populism

Can you create an electorally successful left populist movement beyond the nation state? Benjamin Moffitt, Benjamin De Cleen, Panos Panayotu and Yannis Stavrakakis examine the transnational populist European movement DiEM25, which stood in several countries in the recent European Parliament elections, and considers its prospects in establishing an electorally competitive movement at the transnational level.

The populists’ trap: mainstream responses to populist new parties are a threat to democracy

The populists’ trap: mainstream responses to populist new parties are a threat to democracy

New populist and nativist parties have emerged in many western democracies as a response to large-scale economic transformations, argues Stephane Wolton. The reaction by established parties in trying to imitate their anti-immigrant policies have dangerous consequences for our democratic norms.

New political parties can mobilise dissatisfied voters who share populist attitudes

New political parties can mobilise dissatisfied voters who share populist attitudes

With the economic crisis in 2008, ‘new parties’ emerged across European societies. Hugo Marcos-Marne, Carolina Plaza-Colodro and Tina Freyburg show that next to citizens’ economic assessments, voting for new parties also depends on populist attitudes. Their work underpins the importance of a deepening crisis of representation, amid which new parties are able to set links with the electorate that go beyond pure economic concerns.

Political knowledge and populist attitudes influence voter preferences for government formation

Political knowledge and populist attitudes influence voter preferences for government formation

Government formation in multiparty systems requires election losers to concede victory to the winners and, more often than not, winners to compromise to form a coalition government. Why will some voters concede victory to the winning party but others won’t? And what influences their openness to other parties during coalition talks? Looking at evidence from Austria, a multiparty system at the heart of Europe, Carolina Plescia and Jakob-Moritz Eberl find that, even after controlling for party preferences and ideology, political knowledge and populist attitudes are essential in explaining voters’ willingness or unwillingness to accept these fundamental prerequisites of coalition bargaining and political compromise.